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NEA hails appointment of new Philreca GM


March 20, 2018

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has welcomed the appointment of Atty. Janeene Depay-Colingan as the new Executive Director and General Manager of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (Philreca).


Philreca announced the appointment of Colingan on Monday, March 19, making her the first woman to take on the role. She replaced former Philreca general manager Wendell Ballesteros.


Philreca president Presley De Jesus said Colingan's extensive experience and impeccable track record made her the right fit to lead the association into its next phase.


"With her extensive knowledge and exposure in the operations and management of the electric cooperatives and our aspirations in the Rural Electrification Movement, we are confident that she would bring fresh ideas, innovations and strategic initiatives to our advocacy in support of rural electrification and consumer-driven reforms in the power industry," De Jesus said.


NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong welcomed Philreca's decision to designate Colingan as its general manager and executive director. He likewise expressed satisfaction with the changes being made by Philreca to make the organization more effective.


"Atty. Janeene Depay-Colingan is equipped with knowledge, skills and attitude required of the position and to take the cudgels in the execution of the policies, programs and projects set forth by the Board of Directors led by its dynamic and responsive president in the person of Presley De Jesus," the NEA chief said. 


Meanwhile, National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) national chairman Akmad Mamalinta extended his warmest congratulations to Colingan, and assured her of their support. 


"Atty. Colingan is a well-respected figure in the EC sector. Her assumption as Executive Director of Philreca is a breath of fresh air. She has the support of NCECCO," Mamalinta said.


Colingan is currently the Consultant Coordinator of the Regulatory Affairs Office (RAO) Team of the NEA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Banking and Finance, and a Bachelor of Laws from Saint Louis University, Baguio City.


Organized in July 1979, Philreca is a non-stock, non-profit national organization, which is comprised of 121 electric cooperatives operating in the country. Its member-ECs have provided electricity service for more than 12 million power consumers throughout the country. NEA

NEA, ECs vow completion of rural electrification projects by 2022

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) and its partner electric cooperatives (ECs) have pledged their full commitment to complete all pending state-funded rural electrification projects by 2022.

The commitment was made during the ECs General Managers' Session held recently at the NEA H.E.S Auditorium in Diliman, Quezon City that gathered 134 delegates, consisting of general managers, board members and representatives from 112 ECs.

Addressing the EC participants, Administrator Edgardo Masongsong reminded them of their mandate to ensure that the benefit of electricity reaches every Filipino household. He also urged the ECs to come up with strategies to fast-track efforts in achieving energy access for all by 2022.

"The ways of the past were already proven inadequate to the demands of the country's growing rural economy. We have to catch up, double our efforts and ensure that our services are more than enough to drive the Duterte administration's economic legacy after 2022," the NEA chief said.

NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola, meanwhile, said there is still much work to be done but assured the ECs of the agency's commitment to providing necessary assistance to help them in carrying out the electrification projects.

"The end goal is [to ensure] that all potential consumers are energized. NEA will adjust accordingly to the strategies that the electric cooperatives will be taking in order to [keep the projects within] the proposed timeline," Tortola said.

Latest data from the rural electrification agency show there are still 23,464 sitios in the entire country that do not have access to electricity. Of the total number of unenergized sitios, 19,740 sitios are identified as "implementable" to date, most of which are in Mindanao with 8,535 sitios, followed by Luzon with 6,541 sitios, and Visayas with 4,664 sitios.

The figures are based on updates submitted by the ECs to the NEA in a series of Sitio Electrification Program (SEP)-Phase 2 summits conducted nationwide by its Corporate Planning Department, in coordination with the Accelerated Total Electrification Office, from November 2017 to February 2018.

For this year, the NEA and its partner ECs target to bring electricity to 1,817 sitios--560 in Luzon, 552 in Visayas, and 705 in Mindanao.

Further, the agency is requesting P5-billion from the national government to finance the 3,626 electrification projects under SEP for 2019.

Last February 21, the NEA gathered the general managers of different ECs under its supervision to discuss, among others, the progress of rural electrification projects in their respective coverage areas.

Before the assembly ended, the EC participants pledged their commitment to strongly support the government's Rural Electrification Program by fast-tracking the implementation of SEP, Barangay Line Enhancement (BLEP) and Household Electrification Programs (HHEP).

They also committed to "complete and energize the REP projects for BLEP, SEP, HHEP for the year 2018-2022 and adhere to the rules and regulations of the NEA concerning the efficient utilization and timely liquidation of subsidy funds. NEA

#SavingBoracay: Akelco says waste-to-energy facility might be the key

MALAY, Aklan—There might be another way around cleaning up Boracay without the mandatory closure of businesses that drive its economy. How? By putting up waste-to-energy facilities in the island.

An official from the Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Akelco) brought this up amid reports that a number of establishments in the area will be forced to temporarily shutdown after repeated violations of state environmental laws and regulations on proper waste disposal.

Akelco general manager Alexis Regalado said a company has expressed interest to build a biomass-fired power plant in one of the three barangays comprising the island and they are giving it some serious thought.

“We have already been approached about plans to establish a biomass [plant to convert] wastes [into at least] one megawatt [of power]. They said they already acquired a lot in Manoc-Manoc, where they want to put it up, but [its development remains to be seen],” he said.

Regalado sees this as a possible long-term solution to mitigate the recurring waste management issues of Boracay. No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself claimed recently that the island has turned into a “cesspool” because of its worsening sewage problem.

The Akelco chief shared concerns that if this situation is left unaddressed, it will definitely affect many industries including their company, which earns a great deal of revenues from the hotels, restaurants and other businesses that operate in the area.

Regalado considers Boracay as the “bread and butter” of Akelco because although it covers only 8,000 out of the total 151,000 consumer connections in their franchise area, it generates 55 percent of their overall average monthly income.

“Definitely, Akelco will be affected if a lot of businesses will be closed, especially if they are big establishments,” he said. Investing in a biomass facility may not only prevent this scenario but it can also help address the growing demand of the island for electricity.

During peak seasons, the top tourist destination in Aklan averages a total of 28 megawatts (MW) in daily power consumption and around 20 MW on quiet months. Accordingly, Akelco has also been pouring its resources to improve power supply and reliability in Boracay.

Biomass facilities are among the many renewable energy development projects the National Electrification Administration (NEA) advocates under the leadership of Administrator Edgardo Masongsong.

Masongsong was in Boracay over the weekend to attend the First Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors Summit, which was hosted by Akelco, at the La Carmela de Boracay convention center. NEA


Power coop execs pledge to help ailing distribution utilities

MALAY, Aklan—An organization of board of directors of electric cooperatives (ECs) has adopted a resolution creating a comprehensive program that will provide all kinds of immediate assistance to underperforming power distribution utilities.

This is among a handful proposals introduced during the First EC Board of Directors Summit organized by the Philippine Association of Board of Directors of Rural Electric Cooperatives (PABREC) to help save some ailing coops from the brink of economic unviability.

Over 600 participants from 99 ECs attended the meeting, which was held from February 16 to 17 at the La Carmela de Boracay convention center, to address different issues affecting power coop directors in the rural electrification sector.

With the theme "A United Board of Directors for Stronger Electric Cooperatives," the gathering aimed to consolidate the various organizations of EC Board of Directors nationwide to effectively resolve the most pressing challenges facing the industry.

PABREC is composed of Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors Association, Inc. (RECOBODA), Association of Board of Directors of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (ABDEC), Directors 8, and Western Visayas Board of Directors Association (WEVBODA).

The resolution adopted by PABREC to create a program for ailing ECs was proposed by Felix Vergara, Jr., president of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO).

"We should have a program helping those ailing cooperatives. We should have a concerted effort in terms of helping our ailing ECs in resolving their problems," said Vergara, who is also the board president of the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Fibeco).

Other resolutions endorsed during the assembly include urging the 17th Congress to pass a bill expanding the supervisory powers of the National Electrification Administration (NEA); and another in support of the establishment of an EC Member-Consumer-Owners (MCO) Center at Clark Green City in Tarlac.

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, meanwhile, reiterated to the summit participants the need to strengthen their movement to protect the gains of rural electrification, as well as the rights and interests of the power consumers.

"You are in the electric cooperative to promote and protect the rights and interest of your electricity consumers. But you cannot do that individually. To be relevant, you have to bond yourselves into one strong movement," Masongsong said.

The NEA chief urged them to solidify their ranks to help the Duterte administration realize its economic roadmap, particularly in terms of sustaining development in the rural areas, as envisioned in the AmBisyon Natin 2040.

Other resource persons who also spoke during the two-day summit were Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Commissioner Josefina Patricia Asirit for ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera, NEA-EC Training Institute (NETI) Director Nora Rivera, NEA Institutional Development Department Manager Nollie Alamillo, and MCO Specialist Edmundo Pacamalan, Jr.NEA


NEA takes over ailing electric coop in Abra; rehabilitation underway

In an effort to rehabilitate the ailing Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco), the National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Friday (February 9) officially took over the management and operations of the power distribution utility and deactivated its current Board of Directors.

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong accompanied the members of the newly created Task Force Duterte Abra Power in a meeting with the employees and officials of Abreco to help ensure a smooth takeover.

This developed days after the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) issued the Notice of Default and Notice of Suspension against Abreco due to its failure to pay over P200 million in power supply bills.

"With the recent development relative to the Notice of Default and Notice of Suspension issued by the PEMC, NEA is under obligation to take over the management and operations of Abreco to protect the welfare and interest of the electric cooperative and its member-consumer-owners (MCOs)," Masongsong said.

Earlier, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi directed the NEA to address the financial and management problems of Abreco decisively, citing increasing complaints of poor and unreliable service from its MCOs. Abra Rep. Joseph Santo Niño Bernos also issued a statement urging the Department of Energy to intervene and stop the order of PEMC to suspend Abreco from the wholesale electricity spot market.

To recall, Masongsong issued Office Order No. 2017-168 in September last year creating the Task Force to take charge of the rehabilitation of Abreco. The order was pursuant to Section 5 (a) Chapter II and Sections 4-A and B of Presidential Decree No. 269, as amended by Republic Act No. 10531.

Chaired by NEA Deputy Administrator for Electric Cooperative Management Services Atty. Goldelio Rivera, the Task Force will serve as an Electric Cooperative Board of Directors prescribed under NEA Bulletin No. 35.

To supervise the management and operations of Abreco, NEA has designated Atty. Xerxes Adzuara as Project Supervisor. Charito Mabitazan, meanwhile, has been assigned as Acting General Manager to manage the day-to-day operations and ensure the efficient delivery of service to MCOs.

Other members of the Task Force are Reynaldo Lazo and Engr. Felino Herbert Agdigos, Board president and general manager (GM) of Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Inec), respectively; Atty. Gloria Corrales and Engr. Egdon Sabio, Board president and GM of Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Iseco), respectively; and Rocky Aliping and Gerardo Versoza, Board president and GM of Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco), respectively.

National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) national chairman Retired General Akmad Mamalinta joined the team in the takeover to coordinate the maintenance of peace and order and provide security.

With the objective of re-engineering Abreco into an excellently performing distribution utility, the Task Force is expected to meet specific deliverables, which include conduct of election for Board of Directors; selection and appointment of a regular GM; establishment of a lean and mean organizational structure with competent workforce; come up with well-informed and participative member-consumers and stakeholders; plan and implement capital expenditures projects towards power reliability, system efficiency, and reduction of system losses; prevent power curtailment due to power shortages and outages; and achieve management and operational performance within the NEA parameters and standards.

The Task Force was formed after the NEA Board of Administrators, in its Resolution No. 113 dated September 5, 2017, ordered the deactivation of the Abreco's Board of Directors due to its failure to lead the cooperative to meet the operational and financial standards and parameters prescribed by the NEA and considering the material and significant adverse audit findings on its operations as contained in the Comprehensive Audit Report. #NEA




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